How Do You Know is such a forgettable movie that I had to look at the title again and again to remember what it was called, but then I'm not a fan of vague film titles: As Good As It Gets, Something's Gotta Give ... I can never remember which movie is which. I rented How Do You Know for the big-name stars such as Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson. How can you go wrong with stars like that? Well you can and this movie does. First of all, the plot takes a long time to rev up as we learn about all the baggage the main characters will inevitably bring to their relationships. Second, we never really like any of them, with the possible exception of Paul Rudd's character, George, but only because he is played by Paul Rudd, who, by the way, is trying too hard to be Paul Rudd. Witherspoon can usually carry a film with her charm, ... and Rudd with his physical comedy but none of them add any level of interest to the dull plot.

Reese Witherspoon was not believable as ineloquent, washed-up athlete Lisa, who unluckily falls into a relationship with superstar baseball player Matty, played by Owen Wilson. He, at the top of his career, does not really comprehend the meaning of the word "fidelity" and Lisa flails between a relationship with him and her growing feelings for troubled executive George. Witherspoon can usually carry a film with her charm, Wilson with his sexy goofiness, and Rudd with his physical comedy, but none of them add any level of interest to the dull plot, and less-than-snappy dialogue. Jack Nicholson was pointlessly cast as George's father, appearing in only a handful of lacklustre scenes.
So how much money did director James L. Brooks (writer/developer of The Simpsons and movies such as Spanglish and Terms of Endearment) spend on How Do You Know - $US120 million, to be precise, (evidently spent on the star-spangled cast). I was amazed I had never heard of the film before until, more than halfway through, I recognised a scene from the trailer and realised that I had heard of it, and, at that time, thought it looked like a lot of fun. It was so not fun, that it never recouped its budget at the box-office, nor managed to hold my interest for the duration of the film. I won't give it the lowest rating possible, because I have actually seen worse films, but it's definitely going at the low end of the spectrum. It wasn't a total waste of my time because I spent the long two hours catching up on Facebook but it was certainly a waste of a video rental.

Movie reviewed by Georgina Young-Ellis

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